Angelo Scola

His Eminence
Angelo Scola
Cardinal, Archbishop of Milan

Cardinal Scola in 2014
Archdiocese Milan
Appointed 28 June 2011
Installed 25 September 2011
Predecessor Dionigi Tettamanzi
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi XII Apostoli
Ordination 18 July 1970
by Abele Conigli
Consecration 21 September 1991
by Bernardin Gantin
Created Cardinal 21 October 2003
by John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1941-11-07) 7 November 1941
Malgrate, Lombardy, Italy
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
(Your Grace Suffices)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Angelo Scola (Italian pronunciation: [ˈandʒelo ˈskɔːla]) (born 7 November 1941) is an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church, philosopher and theologian. He was appointed Archbishop of Milan by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 June 2011.[1] He had served as Patriarch of Venice from 2002 to 2011. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.


Early life

Scola was born in Malgrate, Milan, to Carlo Scola, a truck driver,[2] and Regina Colombo. He was the younger of two sons; Pietro, his elder brother, died in 1983. He attended high school at the Manzoni Lyceum in Lecco,[2] where he participated in the youth movement Gioventù Studentesca (Student Youth).

He studied philosophy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart from 1964 to 1967, obtaining his doctorate with a dissertation on Christian philosophy. During this time served as vice-president and thereafter President of the Milanese diocesan chapter of the Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana, the university student wing of Catholic Action.

At the university Scola met Luigi Giussani, the founder of the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation. After earning his degree in philosophy and teaching in high schools, Scola decided to become a priest and entered in the Archiepiscopal seminary of Milan, studying one year in Saronno and the others in Venegono. In 1969 Scola asked to the Seminary of Venegono to be ordained Subdeacon ahead of time but he was not allowed to. Following the advice of Luigi Giussani, in summer 1969 Scola moved to the seminary of the Diocese of Teramo-Atri where he studied one year.[3] On 18 July 1970 Scola was ordained to the priesthood in Teramo by Bishop Abele Conigli.

He then attained a second doctorate in theology from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He wrote his dissertation on the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. An active collaborator in the Communion and Liberation movement from the early 1970s, Scola was the Italian editor of the journal Communio founded by Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Joseph Ratzinger (later to become Pope Benedict XVI).[2] He conducted book-length interviews with de Lubac and von Balthasar.[2]

After periods of study in Munich and Paris and time spent in pastoral work, Scola returned to Fribourg to work as research assistant to the chair of political philosophy at Friburg from 1979 and thereafter Assistant Professor of Fundamental Moral Theology, a position he held until 1982 when he was appointed Professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome and Professor of Contemporary Christology at the Pontifical Lateran University.

He founded the Studium Generale Marcianum, an academic institute, and the journal Oasis, published in Italian, English, French, Arabic and Urdu as an outreach to Christians in the Muslim world.[2]

From 1986 to 1991 Scola served the Roman Curia as consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. At the various institutes where he taught he promoted the establishment of bursaries to enable foreign students, particularly those from poorer countries, to study in Italy.

Bishop of Grosseto

Scola was named Bishop of Grosseto on 18 July 1991, and was consecrated by Cardinal Bernardin Gantin (with Bishops Abele Conigli and Adelmo Tacconi serving as co-consecrators) on the following 21 September. As Bishop of Grosseto he promoted a renewal of catechesis in the diocese. Scola chose as his episcopal motto Sufficit gratia tua ("Your grace suffices", 2 Corinthians 12:9).

Among Scola's chief pastoral concerns in Grosseto were the education of children and youths, vocations and clergy formation (he reopened the diocesan seminary), new approaches to parish life, the pastoral care of labourers (particularly during the difficult period of the dismantling of mines in Grosseto), culture and the family, and the opening of a diocesan mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. During this period he wrote and published a book aimed at young people on the subject of the educative mission of the Church. In his pastoral capacity as bishop, Scola paid particular attention to the issues of education, youth, clergy formation, renewal of parish life, pastoral care of workers, culture and the family.

Rector of Lateran University and offices in Roman Curia

Arms of Cardinal Scola of Venice

Scola in 1995 resigned as bishop of Grosseto to serve as rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, with a term spent as visiting professor at the counterpart Institute in Washington, D.C., during which time he wrote a monograph on the theology of von Balthasar.

In 1995 he became a member of the Congregation for the Clergy. He also served as member of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education of the Italian Bishops' Conference and, from 1996, as president of the Committee for Institutes of Religious Studies which addresses questions of the theological formation of the laity in Italy.

From 1996 to 2001 Scola was a member of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers and wrote several texts on issues around health care. In 1996 he was named a member to the Pontifical Council for the Family.

On 17 January 2009 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture by Pope Benedict.[4] On 5 January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.[5] He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Patriarch of Venice

Cardinal Scola blessing the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament in Venice, 2005.

Scola was appointed Patriarch of Venice on 5 January 2002, elected President of the Bishops' Conference of the Triveneta region on 9 April 2002 and created Cardinal-Priest of Santi XII Apostoli on 21 October 2003. As patriarch Scola developed a reputation of openness and pastoral concern. In Venice, for instance, he set aside Wednesday mornings to meet anyone who wanted to see him, whether or not they had an appointment.[6]

After the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, Scola was considered to be among the papabili in the 2005 papal conclave.[2] The conclave elected Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI.

Archbishop of Milan

On 28 June 2011 he was appointed to replace Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi as Archbishop of Milan, and he left the office of Patriarch of Venice. On 9 September 2011 he took possession of the Archdiocese of Milan by proxy, becoming the Archbishop of Milan to all intents and purposes.[7] Cardinal Scola received from Pope Benedict XVI the pallium of Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan on 21 September 2011 at Castel Gandolfo. The new Archbishop entered the city of Milan on 25 September 2011 and on that date he was enthroned in his Cathedral with a solemn Mass for the beginning of his pastoral ministry in the See of Milan.[8]

On 24 October 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Cardinal Scola to be a member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers.[9] On 7 March 2012 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.[10] On 21 April he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Cardinal Scola knows Italian (as well as Lecchese dialect), English, German, French and little Spanish.[11]

In 2013, Scola again was a front-runner candidate to be the new pope, this time to succeed the retired Benedict XVI, and one Italian representative even mistakenly announced Scola's victory.[12] The conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., who became Pope Francis.

Cardinal Scola retains the right to participate in any future conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on 7 November 2021.


Scola is the author of numerous theological and pedagogical works on topics such as bio-medical ethics, theological anthropology, human sexuality and marriage and the family, which have been translated into several languages. In addition, he is the author of more than 120 articles published in scholarly journals of philosophy and theology.

Published works
Online texts


  1. "Rinuncia dell'Arcivescovo Mentropolita di Milano (Italia) e nomina del successore" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Scholarly Venice cardinal intent on raising church's profile". Catholic News Service (via 1 April 2005. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  3. Tornielli, Andrea (6 November 2011). "Scola, ecco perchè lasciò il seminario di Milano". La Stampa. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  4. "Nomina di membri e di consultori del Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 17 January 2009. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  5. "Nomina di membri del Pontificio Consiglio per la Promozione della Nuova Evangelizzazione" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  6. Allen Jr., John L. (1 July 2011). "Meet the new Crown Prince of Catholicism". National Catholic Review. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  7. "La presa di possesso del nuovo Arcivescovo" (Press release) (in Italian). Chiesa di Milano. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  8. "Angelo Cardinal Scola". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  9. "DC's Cardinal Named Relator-General for Evangelization Synod". ZENIT. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  10. "Rinunce E Nomine". 7 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  11. Barry, Colleen (6 March 2013). "Scola Reaches Youth Through Kerouac and McCarthy". ABC News. Retrieved 10 March 2013.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Adelmo Tacconi
Bishop of Grosseto
20 July 1991 – 14 September 1995
Succeeded by
Giacomo Babini
Preceded by
Marco Cé
Patriarch of Venice
5 January 2002 – 28 June 2011
Succeeded by
Francesco Moraglia
Preceded by
Giovanni Battista Re
Cardinal-Priest of Santi XII Apostoli
21 October 2003 – present
Preceded by
Dionigi Tettamanzi
Archbishop of Milan
9 September 2011 – present
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